Solo Mobile to re-launch brand “to directly compete with Chatr”?

Ian Hardy

July 12, 2010 12:59 pm

We thought Solo Mobile would slowly be put into the grave ever since Bell swallowed up all Virgin Mobile Canada. However, we’ve learned that Solo Mobile is currently getting a full re-branding.

One of our tipsters let us know that Solo is prepping for an “upcoming brand re-launch to directly compete with Chatr and new entrant fighter brands. The brand has been completely repositioned to cater to a new target demographic and will be offering very similar priced rate plans.”

We have no other details as to when this new brand launch will occur but looks like the no-contract, low price point strategy is heating up! Rogers new discount brand Chatr is expected to roll out their services within a couple weeks and offer low cost devices and a couple monthly plans.

(Thanks tipster!)

  • Hub

    Let me guess: only available in Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver.

  • MuRaNo

    So will Mobi. bring them to the better business bureau too.

    Round one Fight !

    Mobi. Bankrupt

    It’s the first time I’ll say this, Wind is taking a smarter approach to this.

  • M. Oreto

    Oddly enough, the Solo retail unit at the Rideau Centre closed shortly after the winter holidays and was replaced by Virgin Mobile.

  • Don

    So, no data then?

  • vishal

    @Hub:

    Hahaha. That’s exactly what I was thinking. Awesome comment.

  • Hub

    @MuRaNo: the BBB has no “jurisdiction” here. Maybe you meant the Competition Bureau?

  • thep

    Awesome

  • Don

    I think Bell had pretty much forgot about solo, although it does have one or two kiosks in the Montreal downtown core.

  • jarr

    @Hub

    you are correct. only im major cities.

    the same way why only major cities tend to get professional sports teams (it makes more economical sense to have the Toronto Raptors in Toronto rather than in Sudbury)

    its called “economics” and “making money” 101

  • Cadet

    at least they are re-branding and not making a new brand

    it’s better than rogers making a new brand to kill off fido

  • Dom

    Effing encumbents.

  • Breezee

    Let me guess, Koodoo will be undergoing a re-branding and a re-launching soon and it will target the no-contract and low-price market segment in the 5 cities … and Mobilicity is threatening to take it to court again!!! Expect to see mobi become very busy … not busy building their network, but busy suing everyone!!!

  • Marcel B.

    This isn’t a good news for consumers… It is when you don’t look past a 2 year horizon, but otherwise consumers looses. Scenario: Chatr and Solo do fairly well and new entrants don’t survive and get bought back by incubents and then; shut down. Prices go up from that date and we’re back at square 1… Fiercly effective.

  • werD

    I particularly enjoy that they are positioning the brand to compete with “Chatr” and not the new entrants.

    “No, no Mr. BBB. We weren’t targeting the new guys, it was the BIG guy we were after. Honest!”

  • TCom

    Hey MuRaNo, WIND is taking a better position on this? Are you serious? WIND is going bankrupt. They lose as many customers as they get – enjoying those 3 hour wait times at the call centre? Their days are numbered. Enjoy riding the titanic.
    At least Mobilicity seems to be rational (no permanent 50% off sale) and i hear growing way faster than WIND.

  • Breezee

    @Marcel B:

    No, we won’t go back to square 1. We want the federal government to open up the telecom industry and we want Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, or even vodafone, those guys in Canada.

  • jarr

    @Marcel B – you forgot to add a few words at the end of your statement, I presume:

    This isn’t a good news for consumers… It is when you don’t look past a 2 year horizon, but otherwise consumers looses. Scenario: Chatr and Solo do fairly well and new entrants don’t survive and get bought back by incubents and then; shut down. Prices go up from that date and all of the customers who signed up for the no-contract brands such as Chatr and New Solo disconnect and we’re back at square 1… Fiercly effective.

    … so in the end, no one will be paying higher prices. we’ll all be paying the exact same prices that we are paying today (not including normal inflation)

    we’ll go from 67% of Canadians having cell service, up to 90% for a few years, and then back down to 67% once the new cheap brands become “not cheap” anymore

    p.s. – this won’t happen, as industry Canada won’t let it happen and besides, Rogers would rather make $20 on one of these no contract customers rather than NO DOLLARS on NO CUSTOMER after that customer CANCELS because his rate WENT UP.

  • jarr

    @Breezee

    CORRECT. finally, someone who gets it.

    all this is going to do is open up the market more and give more choices

    there WILL be “cheap” no contract brands, there WILL be a “mid tier” brand or offering and there will be high end plans

    just take a look at the U.S. for an example of a market that has this now

  • Jim R

    If the new Solo matches Chatr’s plans in every way *and* offers data at a reasonable price, it would have Chatr beat – simple as that.

  • robellus

    Solo needs a new line of handsets or its worth nothing… unlimited talking aint sh*t if its on a samsung link ;)

  • Mark

    I am actually with SOLO already, and I have an unlocked iPhone with unlimited data and calling everywhere in canada! They have some good retention plans! =D

  • yaright

    How bout you take your bell and your rogers and give your customers the value they’ve been asking for the whole time. It’s stupid. Hi I’m bell, I’m going to create a company that will give customers what they want and continue to rip people off with my other company.

  • joseph niagara

    I can’t see Kodoo changing. They had a great rates when I was with them before going to Telus. 45.00 gave me 300 daytime, nationwide per second billing with nights at 7pm. I left them cause they had crappy phones. Mind you, Kodoo will allow you to buy a phone full price and give you a monthly bill with a bad credit rating. Nice company, just terrible customer service. Solo? who cares they died years ago….

  • wow

    I dont want to sound rude or anything but it seems alot of people on this site have 0 business sence.
    every one bitched and complained about no choice in canada. Now that they have alot of choice they are complaning “Rogers” or one of the big 3 should just sit back and let the new kids on the block take their customers.

    This is basic Supply and demand… The demad for unlimited in canada has gone up so Rogers and big 3 decided to provide the supply. It doesnt matter if its called Rogers or Chatr Bell or solo Telus or koodo. the point is the choice is there. The canadian marktet is opening up. and for the people saying of we want orange here we want tmobile here why would they open shop in canada? Canada has one of the smallest population per KM in the world. It is very expensive to build a nation network and to be honest for Internation brands the ROI(return on investment) just isnt there. Hell there are more people in califonia then all of canada.

    that being said… Rogers, bell, and telus are doing nothing wrong they are business and they going to fight the compitition. Its like honda saying ok lets just let toyato get all of our customers and not do anything about it because then there is more choice for our customers. No they are going to fight to get every customer they can. Multi Branding is Very normal in every industry HP has compaq, Honda has Acura, VW has Audi and porche.

    Honestly guys stop bitching be happy there is tons of choices now. Suck it up and go with what ever is best for you. The big brands will play hardball and in most cases win… THATS BUSINESS

  • MCCANS

    It’s amazing now that Wind, Mobilicity and Public Mobile have launched…and others soon to be coming, the big three are concerned about being competitive.

    Wind isn’t going anywhere, so finally we will have competition in the wireless industry.

  • jarr

    @MCCANS

    No. It’s not “amazing”, it makes sense. It’s called competition, and that was the point of Industry Canada opening up spectrum to new companies – to make it more competitive

    all you morons think that the big 3 were going to just sit back and let the new entrants take over the market without a fight eh?

  • alex bourgeois

    anyone know if they are comming to montreal, quebec?

  • TCom

    Its not competition there “wow” – its illegal. And the reason why its illegal is because its a sham. They launch chatr – hopefully driving some or all of hte new entrants out of business. Then prices go back up and everything’s back to normal..remember city fido (first version)? Oh of course rogers wouldn’t do that again. They’re a kind, friendly company

  • saran

    @ WOW

    TCom is right. The big three will launch companies to battle the new wireless providers and if the big three win, they will raise prices again. It is just a method of controlling wireless service prices in Canada. “WOW” you are right about supply and demand but your “business sense” really lacks analytical skills because you are avoiding the fact that the big three winning this war will just bring us back to the current ridiculous prices offered.

  • JAWG

    What some of you brain-dead individuals forget is that if new brands like ChatR/Solo/etc are not created if the new entrants are successful in the future they will also raise prices maybe even more considering their debts/high running costs/financing difficulties/etc because they are in business and not here to simply serve the FANBOYS which is already highly obvious,in fact the new brands have a higher probability than the new entrants to keep costs down with their established networks competing against each other with financial backing to also keep rates down and companies like Wind (especially)/Mobilicity/PM have a higher chance to fail eventually or be bought out in time.

    It’s ridiculous to believe that the Big Three were not going to respond and with more choices the chances of lower rates remaining is stronger.

  • daniel

    good like it much

  • daniel

    like it much

  • AG

    I have comment to make about SoloMobile.
    If you think they are hot, you might consider the hassle they give you when you cancel your account with them. They are unscrupulous and they charge you an extra month. I would be very careful in signing up with them.

  • Catherine

    So which one is best for unlimited plans solomobile or Chatr? I only need talking and texting. Don’t really care for internet browsing. I’m a student and I use my cell as my only phone. With Solo they offered me a 2-year contract at 32$, so 37.40$ with tax included for unlimited calls and text in local area ONLY though.But the new phone comes cheaper since I’ve been with them for a bit over 2 years now. But for 35$ + taxes, so around 40$ prepaid(so no contract) with chatr I can get unlimited talk and text all over Canada for a few dollars more. All I need really is unlimited talk for all of Quebec with voice-mail included and unlimited local text. Solo’s phones seem a bit more up to date(more hih-tech) but I don’t really need web-browsing and music and a camera, etc. Just want a phone with that does the job of a phone and a qwerty sliding keyboard for text messaging. Can anyone guide in my choice?